Thursday, April 26, 2007

Embricana

This is the outside waterslide in Embricana, Emmerich. The boys had a wonderful Sunday afternoon and we enjoyed the sun by relaxing on one of the lazy chairs they had there. The temperature was just right for sitting in the sun. Around 22 degrees C.

In the meantime the temperature has gone up to 28 degrees C during daytime and that is much too hot to sit in the sun. So I spend most of the time in the shade or inside, where it is just a little cooler.

Indeed it is funny weather we are having over here. Just now the news said it hasn't been this hot in April for a very long time. Besides that it is very dry outside and there is lots of dust everywhere.

Funny weather we are having right now but you won't hear me complaining though I prefer it a little cooler. Around 23 degrees C is warm enough for me and a very nice temperature to stay fit. At work it is difficult to remain very productive after lunchtime because by then our office has become a sauna! This afternoon I tried opening all windows but it didn't cool down at all. Good thing we have a week holiday coming along next week. So hopefully the weather will stay like this for it is perfect holiday weather. Weatherforecasts predict it will do so, so we have a nice week to look forward to.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Birthday with a Gozitan touch

Our son had a nice birthday yesterday. The sun was shining and though the temperature wasn't very high, at least it looked cheerful outside. We finished the day with a Gozitan touch for I made the bruschetta's, a recipe my cyberfriend Sabine send to me. They turned out really well and everybody enjoyed eating them. So thanks for the recipe Sabine.

Today the party continues. Seven friends will come over to celebrate. We are going to take the whole bunch to swim at Embricana in Emmerich. They have a large outdoor pool there and several water slides. Hopefully we can sit outside enjoying the sun and a good book while the kids have the time of their lives in the swimmingpool. So I am off now to prepare some things and find a good book to read. Have a nice Sunday!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Hay Hay Hay

11 years old already! Hope you have a nice birthday, dear son.
Enjoy the horse cake!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday

Again it is Friday and a whole weekend is in front of us. A busy weekend as our youngest son will be 11 years old tomorrow.

This past week I have been busy at work, around the house and with my studies. Yesterday evening I was dead tired so I spend some time relaxing by taking a nice bath while reading a good book. Just now I finished the book "Going home" and I must say I enjoyed reading it though at times the waiting attitude of Lizzy, the principal person in the book, made me wish to push her into action.

Don't know much more to blog about right now and besides that I have to rush off to do some shopping. So arrivederci for now!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Tulip fields

Sometimes it is better known what places are worth visiting further from home then what nice things there are to see close to where you live. At least that counted for me on Friday. The newspaper showed such lovely large tulip fields quiet close to where we live and we didn't even know about them. So yesterday we went to have a look.

Several years ago we went cycling in the west of Holland, the part where the Keukenhof is and where you can find large fields of flowers. That time it was lovely to see all those large fields of flowers but the traffic was high and at times it was no fun cycling there at all.

So yesterday it was a delight to see these tulip fields so close to home. Besides that the weather is like summer here in Holland so it is sunny and warm, making everything look even more wonderful.












Saturday, April 14, 2007

Walt Disney Studios

Walt Disney Studios is the 2nd park of Eurodisney in Paris. It is a lovely park though much smaller than Disneyland. It's the place to meet "moviestars". So that's the way the Disney figures present themselves.

Here you see a girl getting a signature of Minnie Mouse. To get signatures and take a picture with a "movie star" you have to wait in a long row for there are many people wanting to do so.

The first thing we did was take a studio tram tour. This tour took us around various sets of films and along the road you could see objects that have been used in Disney films.
At one of the sets they made us feel the effects of an earthquake and the whole bus started moving. This triggered fire and made lots of water come down. It looks more frightening on the picture then it is. In fact it amazed me how they could force such a reaction.

In this park there was also a lovely parade and we were lucky for we stood at the end of the parade and here all Disney figures got out of the cars and walked around a little before waving goodbye.

Here again we enjoyed ourselves very much and were very lucky to have such nice weather.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Disneyland

This is what you see when you approach the parking place of Eurodisney near Paris. The first day we arrived later on in the day and there was no queue of cars waiting to enter. On the other days we went there, there was always a long row of cars slowly passing the entrance gates.

Look at the clear blue sky, we were lucky as we had lovely weather those days.

Eurodisney Paris has two parks and this post is about Disneyland, the biggest of the two and also the park best known by everybody.

Here you see Big Thunder Mountain. This was really cool according to our kids. I don't like rollercoasters so I didn't take a ride.

My favourite attraction in Disneyland was and still is "It's a small world". I remembered it from 13 years ago and really wanted to see it again. We were lucky for we went in twice. The first time we had to wait in a long row to enter but later in the evening the rows were much shorter so we went again.

I knew then where to find the Dutch scene and here is the picture I took.

The kids also loved Autopia where they could "drive" their own car. They spend over an hour waiting to make a ride and according to them it was worth the long wait for they really enjoyed it.

Well we spend two days in Disneyland and we really had fun in spite of the vast amount of people and even though queues were very long. At several attractions we were able to get a fast pass and then you don't have to wait so long for you will know at what time you can enter an attraction within several minutes.

We took nearly 300 pictures in Eurodisney, so I won't post them all here but here is just one more of Disneyland: the Sleeping Beauty Castle. It really looked lovely with that clear blue sky in the background.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

No traditional Easter

No traditonal Easter for us this year as we went to visit Paris and Eurodisney. We left early Friday morning to cover the nearly 600 km we had to go. The ride went quiet smoothly, we just had to wait in Antwerp for a car accident and later on it took some time to pay the fee at the tollgate (for the highway we drove from Lille to Paris). Well anyway the sun was shining bright and it really felt good, just like Summer holidays.

When we arrived in Paris we took the metro to visit the hightlights of Paris: Sacre Coeur, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffeltower, Notre Dame and the Louvre museum.

On this picture we are up the hill near the Sacre Coeur and our son spotted the Eiffeltower in the distance: for him the best known building in Paris.

Perhaps you can also see the silhouet of the Eiffeltower in the distance on this picture.

After visiting the Sacre Coeur we returned to the metro to travel a short while to get above ground just to see the Champs Elyssees and its busy trafic and to take some pictures in front of the Arc de Triomphe. Then we travelled on to the Eiffeltower and it amazed the kids that it was such a large building. Well from a distance it does look small but when you come near it is a very high and big tower.

We walked a little along the Seine and later we took a bus. This bus stopped right in front of McDonald's and as we were very hungry that's were we ate in Paris. Imagine: in Paris eating at McDonald's! Well it's not very romantic but the kids enjoyed it and at least our stomaches were filled so we could move on again.


After relaxing a bit we walked to the Notre Dame. By then our feet were already killing us but we really wanted to see some more of Paris.

Distances are long in Paris and you can do a lot by metro but you will see nothing. So we just walked on and really enjoyed all of it in spite of our aching feet. It was so much fun to show our kids all those highlights of Paris and they really enjoyed seeing them.

We also entered the Louvre museum to show them the Mona Lisa. Our kids agreed to come along if we would just go to see the Mona Lisa and then leave again. So we did. In the meantime we passed so many lovely paintings (much nicer I think then the Mona Lisa) that I decided I must return one day to spend more time in this museum.

We returned to our "bungalow"at Davey Crocket Ranch around 10.30 pm and all we could do was fall onto our beds into a deep sleep and dream of all those millions of people that surrounded us today! My what a busy city Paris is and how crowded it is everywhere.

Even though there were so many people and our feet were killing us we really enjoyed our visit to Paris and if we ever get a chance we shall surely visit Paris again.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Happy Easter

Won't be able to blog much the coming days, so here is wishing all of you a very happy Easter! Hope the weather will be nice and sunny so you can do whatever you feel like doing! Have fun!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Computer problems

After a very busy but fun weekend we are all back to work or to school. The weather has turned much less friendly and it even feels cold outside.

With a week extra to do my homework, due to second Easter day which we celebrate here in Holland, there is enough time to try to solve a computer problem I have. But do you think I can solve it: NO! and this really bugs me. So perhaps there is someone out there reading this who can help me.

The problem concerns the startpage, for this Yahoo page you see here keeps coming as my startpage and even though I tried deleting it and put in another startpage it just keeps coming back.

One of our kids (they always get the blame, ha ha) must have done something to make this happen but so far I haven't been able to undo it and make the computer do what I want it to do. So if you might know how I can solve this problem please, please do let me know!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Prosit!

Just in case you look, here is to you Luuk, hope you have a very nice birthday.
See you later this afternoon.
We shall be waiting for you with loads of presents!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Palm Sunday

It is a tradition in this area that on Palm Sunday children make a Palm Sunday stick. The stick has the form of a cross and on top of the stick there is a hen, being a symbol of Jezus. A hen crows at daybreak, waking you up to let you know the light is coming. For the rest the stick is decorated with green buxus leaves, referring to Jezus entering Jeruzalem on a donkey and the people waving welcome with palm leaves. The stick should also be decorated with round things referring to the circle of life and the circle of a year. After decorating the stick the kids can join others and walk in a procession around town to church.

The reasons for decorating a stick in the form of a cross on Palm Sunday are not known by most Dutch children. They decorate the stick for the fun of doing so.

When our kids were younger I used to decorate a stick for them and surpise them with it on Palm Sunday morning. The last time I did so was in 1999 when they ate their stick empty much faster than I could decorate it.
Here are some pictures so show you.

Nowadays, primary school kids living in our neighbourhood can go and search for Easter eggs. A neighbour, dressed up as an Easter hare, walks around the neighbourhood to pick up the kids and takes them to a field where they can search for eggs. Those who find the gold and silver egg win a little prize. Today our youngest son was lucky as he found the golden egg so he won a prize: a game called lingo.